June 2020: Wrap Up


The last day of June is here so it is time for the Wrap Up. Remember click the picture for the review!


Books I read in June

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins



Pages: 517

Format Read: Hardcover

Dragons: 5/5





Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls



Pages: 32

Format Read: Kindle

Dragons: 5/5




The Avengers, Vol 1 by Brian Michael Bendis, John Romita Sr.



Pages: 112

Format Read: Kindle

Dragons: 4/5

(No Review)




The Queen’s Rival by Anne O’Brien



Pages: 384

Format Read: NetGalley

Dragons: 4/5





Arthur: Prince of the Roses by Alison Weir



Pages: 54

Format Read: Kindle

Dragons: 3/5





The Blackened Heart by Alison Weir



Pages: 45

Format Read: Kindle

Dragons: 4/5

(Review pending)




Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir



Pages: 544

Format Read: Hardcover

Dragons: 5/5

(Review pending)



Total book read: 7

Total pages read: 1688

So that is my June. Some good books read and more pages read than May. Let’s hope July is just as good.

Drop me a comment with the links to your monthly wrap ups and please let me know your thoughts on any of the books I have read.

Happy Reading!

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Arthur: Prince of the Roses by Alison Weir (E-Short Review)

Arthur: Prince of the Roses by Alison Weir


About the author


Alison Weir was born in 1951 and is a British writer of history books, and latterly historical novels, mostly in the form of biographies about British Royalty.


Arthur, the first Tudor prince, is raised to believe that he will inherit a kingdom destined to be his through an ancient royal bloodline. He is the second Arthur, named for the legendary hero-king of Camelot.

To be a worthy ruler, he must excel at everything – and show no weakness. But Arthur is not strong, and the hopes of England weigh heavy on his slight shoulders. And, all the while, his little brother Harry, the favoured, golden son, is waiting in the wings.


I will be honest I was very excited to find that there were e-shorts to accompany Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series, so I immediately downloaded the first two and read them.

This e-short is about Arthur and is written from his point of view. Arthur has a lot to live up to and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. He was named after the great Arthur of Camelot who is legendary and his story inspires everyone, a lot for a young boy to think about growing up. He couldn’t help but feel pressurised without the knowledge of also been the oldest son and next in line to the English throne. Everything was stacked up against him.

I really liked how Weir had got into the head of Arthur. He was only young when he died and hardly lived life and Weir perfectly put this across. Weir showed a young boy who knew he would never be as good as his little brother and just wanted to be with his mother which wasn’t allowed.

This story really made me feel for Arthur and want to read a little more about him, in fact if Weir decided to do a full length story about him I would happily read it. I was disappointed with how short it was. I gave this e-short 3 out of 5 Dragons just because I found it too short and wanted that bit more. This was only 99p from Amazon which made it even better!

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First Lines Friday: 26/06/2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!



It is time for another guessing game? Remember the answer is below the cats!

Here we go…

10th July 2007

She has been walking for a long time. It’s funny but she hadn’t thought that there was so much space in England. The map, which she printed out in the library at school, seemed to show the youth hostel here, somewhere in this sea of green, but now that she’s walking, in her special shoes with her backpack on, there’s no sign of any buildings anywhere.




and the answer is…



Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway.

She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Amyas March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried – but only if Ruth will do the digging.

Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths.

Is Amyas March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over?


How did you do? Please drop a comment with a link to your First Lines Friday and I will head over to see if I can guess the book.

Happy Friday!

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Friday Poetry: Emily Dickinson

Happy Friday Everyone!

I can’t quite believe it is Friday again so soon. I hope everyone has some good books planned for the weekend.

This week’s poem is by Emily Dickinson.


A Bird Came Down the Walk


A Bird came down the Walk –

He did not know I saw – 

He bit an Angleworm in halves

And ate the fellow, raw,


And then he drank a Dew

From a convenient Grass – 

And then hopped sidewise to the Wall

To let a Beetle pass – 


He glanced with rapid eyes

That hurried all around – 

They looked like frightened Beads, I thought – 

He stirred his Velvet Head.



Like one in danger, Cautious,

I offered him a Crumb

And he unrolled his feathers

And rowed him softer home – 


Than Oars divide the Ocean,

Too silver for a seam – 

Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon

Leap, plashless as they swim.


Emily Dickinson


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This and That Thursday


It is time for another weekly update!


Yesterday was Lyra and Pan’s 12th birthday. We tried to celebrate but the cats weren’t really that bothered. We had a BBQ to celebrate, Lyra was about but Pan was obviously hiding somewhere cool. Anyway they had some special cat milk as a birthday treat.


Paint by Numbers

The paint by numbers continues. I’m hoping to get it finished one day but I’m now on the really small fiddly bits which are a bit off putting. Although you can see more of what the picture is meant to be now.



Walks and Exercise

This week we have gone on some different local walks which has been a nice change of scene. I particularly liked the yellow flowers we saw at our local nature reserve. Exercise continues but I have been doing more exercise using my Nintendo Switch and the Ring Fit Adventure Game.


Cupboard sorting

I attacked my clothes cupboard this week and learnt a few things. Firstly, I have way too many tights. Secondly, 45 pairs of socks plus odd socks is probably not healthy. Thirdly, I won’t have to buy black leggings for a good ten years. In the end I realised that I really don’t need any new clothes for a very long time but that doesn’t include Tikiboo leggings or shorts because I can never have enough of those. I should probably sort out all my sheet music next but that usually takes several days but it needs to be done as I usually try to do it twice a year and it is very overdue.



Buffy the Vampire Slayer

We have been binge watching Buffy in the evenings this week as well. I had forgotten just how much fun it was to watch although Faith has appeared now and she never was my favourite character.



The rest of the week has contained teaching online and studying so the usual antics. When I asked my husband what else we had been up to this week he said we had had a Cornetto which is very exciting as it’s probably the first ice cream we have had for nearly a year.


That is my week! Please let me know how your week has been going in the comments. I love to chat and hear what everyone has been up to.



WWW Wednesday: 24/06/2020

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?


Welcome to my WWW Wednesday!

Thankfully this week I have done more reading than last week.


What I am currently reading


Started this a few days ago and must admit that today I can’t put it down. You just can’t beat reading a good book on a nice sunny day.


What I have recently finished reading

I really enjoyed The Queen’s Rival and the review is here. The other two are E-shorts which I also really enjoyed especially The Blackened Heart reviews will follow shortly.


What I think I will read next


I have recently been accepted on NetGalley to get an ARC of this, so I will read it next so I can review it before publication. I’m very excited as I discovered Mike Gayle this year and love his books.

So that is it for another week. Please leave me a comment with your WWW link and I will head over or if you want to chat about the books I have listed today.

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Mid Week Quote: Robin Williams


Happy Wednesday everyone. I hope everyone is having a good week so far.

The quote I have chosen today is by Robin Williams who was a wonderful actor and who I adored in some of my favourite childhood films Flubber and Mrs Doubtfire.


“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”


Robin Williams (1951-2014)


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Top Ten Tuesday: Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. For more info please check out Jana’s blog.


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday had two options so I went for the second where you get to choose a past TTT topic that you haven’t done before and I went with the Longest Books I’ve Ever Read.



Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Twenty Years After by Alexander Dumas

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens


That is my Ten longest reads. Please drop me a comment if you would like to chat about any of these books and please leave your link if you have taken part in TTT this week. 

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The Queen’s Rival by Anne O’Brien (ARC Review)

The Queen’s Rival by Anne O’Brien

About the author


Sunday Times bestselling author Anne O’Brien was born in West Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history.

Today she has sold over 250,000 copies of her books in the UK and lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. The area provides endless inspiration for her novels about the forgotten women of history.


One family united by blood. Torn apart by war…

England, 1459: Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, is embroiled in a plot to topple the weak-minded King Henry VI from the throne. But when the Yorkists are defeated at the Battle of Ludford Bridge, Cecily’s family flee and abandon her to face a marauding Lancastrian army on her own.

Cecily can only watch as her lands are torn apart and divided up by the ruthless Queen Marguerite. From the towers of her prison in Tonbridge Castle, the Duchess begins to spin a web of deceit – one that will eventually lead to treason, to the fall of King Henry VI, and to her eldest son being crowned King Edward IV.

This is a story of heartbreak, ambition and treachery, of one woman’s quest to claim the throne during the violence and tragedy of the Wars of the Roses.


I will be honest when I started to read this book I was a little put off by the story having been written in the form of letters and I found it hard to get into the style of the book to begin with. However, once I got used to the style I really started to enjoy the book and loved seeing a different side to such well known names from history.

Cecily Neville is a strong woman who is not afraid of a fight and does not stand down easily. She is proud and determined to get the very best for her family. I loved Cecily’s strength through this book and even at times she faced alarming things like her husband leaving her and three small children to face an army ransack her home and town she stood firm, she did not hide but made her children watch and learn the dangers of an army. She never gave up even when weighed down in grief and kept strong for her family.

My favourite letters in this book were between Cecily and her two sisters, I must admit they did leave me giggling at times. Sisterly love at its finest with side notes of snide remarks. I also loved the letters from Cecily’s sons to her because you can tell at times they are really fed up of their mother’s interference and constant nagging letters.

I enjoyed this book and found it interesting how O’Brien chose to write the story in the form of letters and documents. It made me wonder if O’Brien was trying to make her book a little different from all the other Historical fiction that is out there. I recommend this book to all Historical fiction fans and I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.

Thank you to NetGally and HQ for providing me with an advanced copy of this book.

To preorder this book please follow the links below

 Book DepositoryWaterstones

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you)


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Reading Habits Book Tag


I wasn’t tagged in this book tag but I have seen it around on people’s blogs recently and really liked the idea of having a go. So here are my reading habits.

Bookmarks or Random Pieces of Paper

This an easy one, definitely bookmarks. I love buying bookmarks so I have loads so I always make sure I make use of them in my books. I will be honest I do tend to stick to a few favourites though.


Stop Reading Randomly or Stop After a Chapter/ Certain Amount of Pages

I like to stop at a chapter but most likely I will stop at a random point especially at night because it is usually where I start to fall asleep. I must admit sometimes I pick the book back up a little confused at where I left off.


Certain Place at Home for Reading?

I read in loads of places! The conservatory when the weather is nice, curled up the sofa with a blanket in lounge when it is cold, at night in bed before sleep. One of my favourite places though is rather a random one which my husband finds very strange, I love leaning over on the AGA and I lean on the simmering plate (lid down obviously) and read. But really I’m happy to read anywhere.


Eat or Drink while Reading?

During the day it is always with a cup of tea. I used to eat breakfast and read but I haven’t done that for a while. At one point I read The Art of War every morning whilst eating breakfast, read into that what you will.


Music or TV while Reading?

I generally always listen to music when I read, I love to have music on for everything and it doesn’t matter what I listen to either. I can also watch TV and read because generally I block it out. During Grand Prix season I get a lot more reading done because I read whilst it is on in the background.


One Book at a Time or Several?

I prefer one book at a time and maybe a dip in book on the side but sometimes I have a couple of books on the go, especially if I am reading a book for my course.


Reading at Home or Everywhere

Everywhere! I read in gaps between work, if I arrive at work early I sit in the car and read, I read whilst waiting for appointments, basically if I have a minute I read. So I always carry a book with me.


Reading Out Loud of Silently?

Silently, I just read in my head because I can read a lot faster than reading it out loud.


Do You Ever Read Ahead or Skip Pages?

Not really, I hate spoiling the ending and can never understand people who read the end first. My mom reads the end of the book first to see whether the book is worth reading in the first place which always baffles me. I also don’t skip pages, when I read a book I like to read it all.


Breaking the Spine or Keeping it Like New?

Like new. I prefer hardbacks to all formats but whatever book I have I like to keep pristine. However, when it is a book I have read many times I don’t mind if the spine eventually gives in because the book is now an old friend. My copy of The Three Musketeers is now in four pieces that is how much I have read it.


Do You Write in Books?

Never! Even when using a book for my studies I put little bits of paper inside or Post It notes instead but I never write in a book. For my English Literature A level my teacher made me write in my copies and I hated it.


So that is a glimpse into my reading habits. I hope you enjoyed it and please drop me a comment if you have also taken part in this book tag as I would love to see other people’s reading habits or if you just want to chat.

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